These questions to my mind answer themselves by way of their antitheses; but let’s look a little at why for me they answer themselves by a negation of assumptions they question.
Let’s first dispel the glose of camouflage placed over either Globalism or Nationalism, whichever item you favour, by the press and by public media; by governments, by all mainstream public commentators. This camouflage acts to hide attitudes and positions which in truth are pretty sordid and it does so by means of calling spades other than spades, and by way of a legerdemain with language worthy of Room 101.
(Room 101 is the numbered office in which the absolutist dictator Big Brother is finally revealed to reside in the novel of political scepticism and despair ‘1984’ by George Orwell)
One of Orwell’s three Public Ministries of government in 1984 was named ‘MiniTruth’ – the other two were called ‘MiniLove’ and ‘MiniPeace’. Each title of the three Ministries represents an utter misnomer; a deliberate set of euphemisms for the real business they carry out. MiniTruth disseminates ubiquitous propaganda; MiniLove acts to keep citizens in a micromanaged thraldom; MiniPeace wages constant war by policy on the other continental geopolitical blocs (Eurasia, Eastasia and Oceana) into which the world of 1894 is divided up.
Orwell was perhaps one of the very the first of the writers of late industrial times (1920 to 1950 he was active) who made a great point of moment about the intimate profound connection between manipulation of language and misuse of political power. This connection in all its depravity is to be seen unpacked and analysed in others’ later political works of literary standing such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s ‘Cancer Ward’ and his ‘The Gulag Archipelago’, and less illustriously perhaps it is seen discussed in Anthony Burgess’ novel A Clockwork Orange.’ Spy thriller writers of some standing like John Le Carre almost by default make hay with the way language is used to disguise what is really going on in its use by secretive or oppressive governing organisations.
But make no mistake, the large worldwide business interests are likewise very much so culprits in the same manner, and to the same extent as are the public bodies and government offices.
Worldwide business itself is no less political and ideologically-driven than are tyrannical governments. It also misuses language to make its inroads upon us everyday Mr and Mrs Bloggses.
Think of the language and ambience of all that advertising it does; which might be described fairly as being a deliberate conscious and crafted attempt to play upon ordinary persons’ human feelings and desires so as to persuade them to buy; and with a certain amount of cynicism to use whatever emotive leverage regulators will allow for it to gain sales. But there is much more about international business to be said than just about its advertising model.
This then is my contention; not original; not regulatory; but yet restating what is in fact the case somewhat clearly might be of use and benefit in some regards and I cannot see how it can be overall detrimental to the general welfare to do so. So let us proceed.
Since in The West the election to The White House of Donald Trump and the decision of Brexit to leave the European Union by the UK in the year 2016 both; commentators mainstream have unanimously been at work in presenting these radically and outrageously new turnings in political life, as things such as ‘a triumph for democracy’ and ‘the will of the people prevailing’ and ‘ a return to nationalism’ and ‘a rejection of globalism’ and so forth.
Commentators have gone an extra mile or two well out of their ways to play down these outrageous events by denying as far as their convoluted and devious thought patterns are capable of allowing them to do, that they are in fact insular responses and made against immigrants in particular; against foreigners based in in Brussels in the UK; and in the USA, against foreigners whose efforts are making the meteoric rise of the Far East as an economic force, and as a protest at the toll on domestic jobs this rise has taken.
These barebones facts are often too hot potatoes to be shared with media audiences straight out. They in fact tell too much truth. A better strategy for media pundits has been to deflect from these widespread visceral pretty ignoble feelings and responses – I don’t want to share with you etc – and to couch the naming of these retrograde changes now coming about as ‘a return to nationalism’ and a ‘rejection of globalism’, and a ‘taking back of political power into the people’s hands’ and so on.
These ‘alternative facts’ as presented by our media men and women sound rather better to the ear of an audience who voted in effect against foreigners and against immigrants and against sharing and for the self and for a retrenchment saying ‘what we have we hold’, and who have said in their hearts ‘no’ to outwardness and to expansiveness, to generosity, and worst of all ‘no’ to their own common human sympathies. Both Trump and Brexit represent I have no doubt and in plain speaking – represent a mean and low, selfish and even angry and self-righteous rejection of common human values and sympathies.
The UK here has been agonising about allowing certain children into this nation, a few hundred at most, on the grounds that some of them ‘look older’ than the upper age limit. Thus nowadays even our charitable deeds are pored over and sifted by near and narrow minds before they give them their sparse approval and severe critiques. Worst is that such siftings and narrow investigations of charitable acts has become an acceptable and so has become an assumed-to-be-valid activity across the nation, to be done for and by us. No more might a good many of us sit in our National Theatre auditorium and hear Portia speak:
“The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice”
Not without her words ringing hollow in our hardened hearts.
As a nation, as a public media, we do not want to face these facts, these home truths about ourselves, and I myself expect to be shot as being the messenger of their import to many. Another writer, Oscar Wilde, coined yet another Shakespearean allusion when he said of his accusers who had put him on public trial and cause him great humiliation that in his shaming they were feeling; ‘The rage of Caliban seeing himself in a mirror for the first time.’ Thus are the rewards and glories for telling truth in terms not glosed over or sugared.
Frequently nowadays, as such opportunities for showing mercy, generosity, and kindness arise, there speaks out some thinktank (a thinktank is a band of privileged persons who give themselves a sonorous and authoritative sounding name, and thus set themselves up as experts on policy and on social and political management, having little more expertise or right to comment on such matters than does any other concerned entity in the nation). Often thinktank policy recommendations betray their well-heeled ‘respectable’ and niggardly origins; offering such ideas as ‘elderly persons losing their Winter Fuel Allowance – at £200 presently – and this money being offered instead to foreign and domestic entrepreneurs; in effect bribing them to set up factories and services here in UK.
(Now don’t get me wrong, some entrepreneurs are indeed foreigners and so you think me a hypocrite? Please hold your fire for now until I get to a point later whereat I intend to discuss such important and prevalent issues and instances concerning all big entrepreneurs, foreign and domestic here and abroad; about them being such strong advocates of globalism, and simply because as globalism gains pace they are ever better-positioned to play the field and use the whole earth, the wide world at their utility; thus pitting pit governments against governments and nations against nations and peoples against peoples etc etc, so as to get ‘the best deals’ for themselves. Nothing more; nothing less. No question.)
Another thinktank idea which arises from the murk every now and then is that the UK should cut its foreign aid monies it pays gratis to less fortunate nations and economies. Be it known here that this princely sum is a fraction of a % of our GDP and it comes to desperate nations not wholly gratis but often, mostly, with strings attached. It may be that it has to be spent on British goods and services; it may be paid as armaments or what is coyly termed ‘for defence purposes’; it may require some binding obligations from the recipient nations. Milton Friedman’s ‘free lunch’ is nowhere to be seen. Greeks bearing gifts.
Thus we have in this proud nation of ours then persons being paid handsome sums for putting forward such nasty grubby and unseemly policy initiatives as these. They are supported simply enough as one would expect, but which is kept out of the story, by those who might benefit most from their measly stratagems – usually the big entrepreneurs. Indeed many of the thinktank club members are those very same entrepreneurial persons or else they owe their high offices to their favours.
I saw something in a tiny grubby leaflet I was handed by a man on the street some weeks back; and which I read through in part today. In it I came across a small motto which said: ‘Hell will have millions of wills hating each other’. It was a crazy leaflet in some ways, but this motto struck me as having hit on the very head the nail which is the essential problem of our world in general; and which has been for millennia. No less an atheist than the feted French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre is renowned for having written in his drama for stage ‘Huis Clo’ (No Exit) that “Hell is other people”. (Nice to have an accord amongst such adverse company).
Indeed as Our Lord made plain; ‘from whom much is given, much is expected’, yet we find those who have the most – in the material and worldly senses only – in fact bear also the largest egos with the most domineering wills – they are those who must have their ways wherever their wills show an interest. One does not need to have a doctorate in logic to be able to work out the final third of the syllogism here.
Let us recap a little here. The electorates in UK and in USA have sought to vote for their narrow self-interest and in doing so have expressed selfishly their feelings and have repudiated foreigners and immigrants, denied sharing, and any merciful hospitality, and have voted as they see it to ‘take back control’; and thus ‘the people’s will is heard’. This in the media is being expressed as being an anti-globalism response, a return to nationalism, a rejection of governance remote from the electorates’ sympathies and from its burning issues, a democratic triumph etc. In this the media are icing a cake which holds bitter nasty fillings, yet to be tasted.
The international businesses are coming out for pro-globalism, and are likewise as the politicians and media using words and language as weapons in their wars of propaganda; so as to win the spoils at stake. International business prefers globalism because it sees globalism as the lubrication which allows it to wheel and deal as it likes, using the earth as its plaything and the peoples and creatures of the earth as boardgame pieces to be juggled ever to its best selfish advantages.
We here in the UK have honoured entrepreneurs who have clearly followed only their own best selfish interests, and we hallow them as ‘national treasures’ and set them up in our schools as persons to be emulated as role models. Some are seen on national television from time to time and show themselves to be disgraceful persons – but the public like it – we enjoy seeing such villains destroying with humiliation and disgrace others who are stood before them for judgement.
All the skills and character traits of these types of men and women whom we are setting up as laudable, desirable, even praiseworthy, for us and our children to look up to and to copy; these business outlooks and their fiercely and even nastily framed minds; they are all repugnant and ugly and cannot by any means be seen as being charitable or concerned for others, but rather they almost to a man betray themselves to be Little Caesars and Lesser Napoleons; who would likely see men and women suffer and die in droves so as to preserve their standing, wealth, and status. Stalin was no less – nor Hitler – yet in business today we laud it we approve it we recommend it – we are sick, sick, sick.
So in this we agree: rich and poor; entrepreneurial globalist and narrow bigoted citizen nationalist – the insular guy; that we serve ourselves only and exclusively, and we draw inwards our charitable selves and consider only our own wills and their selfish preferment, without regard to others.
Thus rich and poor we deserve one another; we share the same disregard for others and lack of care for them also. Thuswise, reaping what we sow we shall share in and deserve one another’s fates. No pleasure in saying so; inevitable though.
‘The Philistines are a upon thee.’ Indeed. Indeed.
(Two instances of what we have sown in recent years. Here in UK almost universally, I cannot speak for the USA, except to say I am sure it has its own skeletons in the closet, our UK press and media has backed Ukraine and Syria, the rebels in Syria against Assad, and the pro-Europeans in Ukraine; in short, we have encouraged those factions most akin – ostensibly – to our own political ways; and have shown encouragement to them. Our forces here in UK have actually bombed Assad’s troops.
In Ukraine we have helped along discontents by holding out as a temptation to the pro-Europeans a chance of joining NATO: even of EU membership – this has been voiced at times. And I fear we have shown ourselves in this encouragement to be at least as much aiming at a ‘poke in the eye’ for Assad and for Putin as our motives having sprung of a truly humanitarian charity.
We have in short meddled; we have meddled wherein we ourselves would not have tolerated another nation meddling with us. We have indulged ourselves. We have been egocentric in attempting to foist our fine ways and means of doing things on other peoples; because our ways we feel are those that are ‘the best’.
The point here is not whether our ways of life indeed are ‘the best’ or not; the point is indeed that we have presumed that they are and have tried to boast as it were that ‘we are the champions’; and in the face of and in some degree in spite of the upsets and sufferings any reasonable person might have foreseen were going to arise, we have with the help of such encouragements, dangled hopes held out, offered out of our self-conceits to nations whose peoples seemed already to be heading towards great distress. We have aided and abetted here – and in part for our greater glory.
For us in UK to turn our backs on many many refugees fleeing Syria and seeking succour here; when Germany has accepted a million in the space of a year , and when we have been to some degree instrumental in the making of the situation in Syria; this is a sad state of things. Of course no-one was or is able to foresee surely how events like those in Syria and Ukraine were/are going to develop, nonetheless the human charity when it was required of us has not been forthcoming.)